The last thing you want as a hardwood floor owner is to find your hardwood floors warping. You go through all that trouble to research floor options, choose a floor and have the floor installed, just to discover the floors warped quickly. That isn’t fair. Hardwood floors are supposed to be durable and long-lasting and floors. Moreover, hardwood is supposed to be the top consumer’s choice. Why would you pay all that money for a floor that warps?
Unfortunately, warped hardwood floors are likely a result of your own doing. The thing is, hardwood floors are durable, and they are long-lasting. The owner simply has to avoid a few scenarios in order to keep their floor in perfect condition. Consider the following to understand warping, and to avoid it in the future:
Too much moisture on or under the floor
The key to maintaining a hardwood floor is MC (moisture content). Or, you might as well think of it as moisture control. There needs to be a balance of moisture all throughout, or else floors warping. For example, consider a basic spill. No matter how narrow your space is between each wooden plank, there is space to allow water to seep through. Once moisture sinks to the bottom, it will naturally expand. The wood expands and compresses at the edges, causing the edges to raise up. This occurrence is known as cupping.
Cupping is a result of too much moisture to a specific area of the hardwood floor, such as a spill. However, there is a separate term for wood floors that are exposed to long-term moisture. Crowning occurs when greater amounts of moisture sink to the bottom of the wood. Instead of raising at the edges, crowning causes the middle of the plank to raise. For instance, say you use a steamer to clean your hardwood floors. Steam dries quickly, but maybe not quickly enough. Steam covering an entire wood surface will allow some moisture to sink into the wood and could result in crowning. Hence, it is recommended not to steam clean hardwood floors.
Not enough moisture = Floors warping
On the other hand, there is also such thing as not enough moisture. Hardwood floors exposed to overly humid temperatures can result in shrinking. This has more to do with the temperature inside your home, rather than outside. Winter months threaten wood shrinking more so than the remaining months of the year. Reason being, we turn on the heat in our home throughout the winter. Heat comes with humidity, and humidity can cause your hardwood slabs to shrink. Lack of moisture can also cause cracks in the hardwood.
A valuable purchase to avoid high levels of humidity is a humidifier. A humidifier will spread moisture into the air at a gradual pace. You can place the humidifier in the furnace to avoid too much moisture. Just be sure not to place it on the hardwood floor directly or else you may run into cupping or crowning.
There you have it…the answer is MOISTURE CONTROL! All you have to do is monitor the moisture inside your home to best protect your hardwood floors. Floors Touch is here to provide helpful flooring tips; however, we offer so much more.